19 posts categorized "Motorcycle Accidents and Safety"

February 07, 2013

Motorcycle Helmets: California Personal Lawyer Says “Who Needs ‘Em?”

    Hey, our brains are a good thing.  For us to survive, we need them to stay undamaged.  So there is a law in California designed for that purpose.  In fact, California Vehicle Code Section 27803(a) requires that “a driver and any passenger shall wear a safety helmet meeting requirements established pursuant to Section 27802 when riding a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle.”



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Motorcycle helmet 002



    What’s the reasoning behind the law?  Simple.  Section (g) states “it is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that all persons are provided with an additional safety benefit while riding or operating a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle.”

    Motorcycle helmets help protect your most valuable asset: Your Brain!

Love your brain
    A June 2012 report by the Centers for Disease Control states "Helmet use consistently has been shown to reduce motorcycle crash–related injuries and deaths." Read article here

    The CDC article "Motorcycle Safety" is a short piece chock full of great motorcycle safety tips for riders and passengers:

  • Always wear a DOT-approved helmet.
  • Never ride your motorcycle after drinking. Alcohol greatly impairs your ability to safely operate a motorcycle. If you have been drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi.
  • Don't let friends ride impaired. Take their keys away.
  • Wear protective clothing that provides some level of injury protection. Upper body clothing should also include bright colors or reflective materials, so that other motorists can more easily see you.
  • Avoid tailgating.
  • Maintain a safe speed and exercise caution when traveling over slippery surfaces or gravel.

Please call or e-mail me (consultations are ALWAYS free) if you have any questions or concerns related to motorcycle accidents or safety.  In my 14 years as a personal injury lawyer, I've represented many motorcyclists who've suffered injuries from broken bones to traumatic brain injury

LS 2012
(877) 487-8221 Toll Free

February 06, 2013

A California Personal Injury Lawyer's Perspective on Accidents

                A California personal injury case can take on many forms.  If you, or someone you love, has been injured in any one of the following situations, you may have a personal injury case worth pursuing. 

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Vicious dog 001



  • Assault Injuries
  • Bicycle Accident
  • Bus Accident
  • Car Accident
  • Dangerous Product
  • Defective Product
  • Dog Bite / Animal Attack
  • Elevator / Escalator Accident
  • False Arrest
  • Medical Negligence
  • Motorcycle Accident
  • Nursing Home Neglect / Abuse
  • Pedestrian Accident
  • Railroad Crossing Accident
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Slip & Fall Accident
  • Trip & Fall Accident
  • Truck Accident
  • Wrongful Death

Call me to discuss whether you have a personal injury case.  Consultations are free and unlike a vicious dog, I won’t bite! (But I will give you my undivided attention).

LS 2012

August 01, 2011

Born To Be Wild! 29 Celebrity Motorcycle Injuries & Deaths (and 10 Safety Tips)

    There's a daredevil in all of us.  Steppenwolf's Born to Be Wild (from Easy Rider) accompanies the video below  which is a compendium of celebrities who have been injured or killed in motorcycle crashes.  The video also includes 10 Motorcycle Safety Tips!

    Click on the photos below the video to find out how the celebrity was injured or killed.  Most importantly, if you ride, ride safely and be defensive.  Other drivers may not be looking out for you!

Click on Each Picture Below

For Details of Their Motorcycle Crash

   Clooney, Larson 01 Fonda 01  Idol 01

Lawrence 01  Schwarzenegger 01 Mitchell 01

Bourdon 01 Allman 01   Pitt 01

  Hutton 01  Kitano 01 Tyler 01

The video has yet more celebrities involved in motorcycle accidents.  Here's a complete list of the celebrities included in the video:

George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dean McDermott, Lauren Hutton, Jeremy Lusk, Ben Roethlisberger, Daryl Mitchell aka Chill, Kerry Von Erich, Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Ann-Margaret, Kellen Winslow, Jr., Takeshi Kitano, Steven Tyler, Erik Estrada, T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). Adrien Brody, Bob Dylan, Don Rich, Gerard Depardieu, Ken Wahl, Seal, “Big” John Studd, Brad Pitt, Billy Idol, Gale Harold, Peter Fonda, Gary Busey, Luc Bourdon

Drive Safely!

Share the road 03



August 26, 2009

Motorcycle Accident Leads to Traumatic Brain Injury, $8M Settlement

Traumatic brain injury
Just when you think you have no case, you may have a case.  I was asked to take a case where Billy, a motorcycle rider who on first impression was thought to be partially, if not all, to blame for an accident from which he suffered catastrophic injuries.  
Billy was a vibrant, young 20 something motorcycle rider who was not expected to live.  Turns out a lady turned left in front of him in a road construction zone.  Upon further investigation, I discovered that there were potentially many reasons why this accident happened – not all of which could be blamed on the left-turning lady OR Billy.  There were a lot of entities, both public and privae, involved.  
We investigated even further, filed a lawsuit against several defendants and were there for Billy and his family throughout the ordeal.  We litigated aggressively, taking dozens of depositions, hiring legal and medical experts, life care planners, pain management doctors, rehabilitation therapists.
Billy will never be the same, he suffered severe brain damage, multiple broken bones, fractures of the spine.  His family will have to take care of him for the rest of his life.
Through our passionate and zealous representation of Billy, we ultimately negotiated a settlement of just under $8 Million, which will enable Billy to receive the lifetime care he requires.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident, please contact me immediately at

(323) 852-1100

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

March 29, 2009

Motorcycle Accident $275,000 Settlement

Motorcycle leg injury (69)      This case is one wherein my client, Bobby, suffered serious injuries as a result of a car making a u-turn in front of him while he drove his motorcycle at a safe speed.  In particular, he suffered a degloving injury to his right leg which necessitated a painful skin graft and had left him with a large permanent scar (see picture to the right). 

    Graphic photos of Bobby's injuries, before and after the surgery, can be seen by clicking here - due to the graphic nature of these motorcycle injury degloving photos, it is inappropriate to just post them here because they are too shocking and one must be forewarned.  You need to affirmatively click here in order to view them.

    Ultimately, the case settled for $275,000 - an amount far and beyond his medical bills and designed to compensate him for the pain and suffering that he experienced as a result of this negligent driver.

Please read excerpts from the mediation brief below.  The names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the parties.

    The instant lawsuit arises out of an incident which occurred on June 24, 2008 on Acme Place just south of Genteel Boulevard in the City of Los Angeles.  Defendant Theresa was driving a 2005 silver Volkswagen Passat in lane 2 of 2.  Plaintiff Bobby, then 24 years of age, was driving his 1994 Honda VFR-750 motorcycle in lane 1 of 2. 

    Bobby, who was suited up with a leather jacket, jeans, safety helmet and motorcycle riding boots,  had been traveling in the same lane, without making any lane changes,  for quite some time.  He was not using his cell phone nor was he listening to any type of music.  He testified in his deposition that he traveled within the 35 mph speed limit for the duration of his drive on Acme.  Further, he was on his way to a cold-reading class at a local community center.  The class, which was only a few miles from his home, was to begin at 7:45 pm.  Bobby would have arrived early having left his apartment at 7:13 pm had it not been for this life-altering accident.

    Plaintiff became aware of Theresa’s vehicle just after passing Genteel Boulevard.  There was nothing in particular that brought it to his attention other than “the fact that there was a vehicle there.” (Bobby Deposition 46:24).  They were both traveling at the same speed and they remained in their respective lanes with Bobby traveling approximately 70 to 80 feet behind.  He noticed her beginning to slow down but because she remained in her own lane he  thought nothing of it until it looked as though she was going to merge into his lane.  He honked his horn, eased on his brakes and tried to move to the left in order to avoid her all the while being mindful of not crossing over the double yellow line into oncoming traffic.

    In actuality, Theresa was not attempting to merge into Bobby’s lane of travel.  Instead, she made a u-turn directly in front of him causing the injuries and damages hereinafter described.

    The Los Angeles Police arrived at the scene, investigated the incident and produced the report.   Theresa stated, in pertinent part, that she made a u-turn in order to change her direction of travel from southbound Acme to northbound Acme and, in so doing, collided with Bobby’s motorcycle.  She says that she never saw him coming which led her to believe that he was speeding.  However, there is no evidence to substantiate that point and, in fact, such a statement is purely speculative.  Finally, she admitted to the investigating officer that the accident was her fault

    An independent witness, Darius, stated that he was driving northbound on Acme and saw Theresa, who was traveling southbound on Acme, make a u-turn.  He witnessed Theresa collide with Bobby’s motorcycle.

    Although Theresa was not cited, the police listed the primary collision factor as a violation of California Vehicle Code §22102 by Theresa.  The code states that

    "No person in a business district shall make a U-turn, except at an intersection, or on a divided highway where an opening has been provided in accordance with Section 21651.  This turning movement shall be made as close as practicable to the extreme left-hand edge of the lanes moving in the driver's direction of travel immediately prior to the initiation of the turning movement, when more than one lane in the direction of travel is present."


    “I felt around my body and thought I was okay at first.  I didn’t notice any problems.  Then I reached to touch my leg, and I felt that it was very small.  So I looked down, and I saw it, and I was actually holding the bone in my leg.  It was completely torn open.  I think the term that the EMT’s used was ‘degloving.’  It was completely torn open, and my hand was inside my leg, at which point I pretty much lost my cool.” (Bobby Deposition, page 58:23 to 59:6)

In this case, it was necessary to file a lawsuit against the driver of the u-turning vehicle in order to move the case along.  Her insurance company, although polite, was not cooperating to the extent that they needed to in order to come to a fair resolution in this matter.  Meanwhile, my client's medical bills were piling up and he still needed skin graft surgery because his wound was not healing.  It remained open!  Aggressive action was required and that action was in the form of a lawsuit.

    The case then moved along quickly.  I found a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who was willing to perform the skin graft on a lien basis.  This means that he was willing to wait until the matter resolved, either through settlement or judgment rendered at trial, before getting paid.  The surgery center worked on a lien basis as well.

    It is important in injury accidents such as these that the legal aspects are properly handled by an experienced attorney.  My client had no health insurance at the time and faced serious medical issues had I not been able to arrange for treatment in the manner described above.

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If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a motorcycle or automobile (or similar) accident, please call me, Lowell Steiger, immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at [email protected]

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

December 23, 2008

New California Vehicle Laws for 2009: Zero Tolerance DUI; No Text Messaging

Chp badge With a new year on the horizon, CHP wants to remind motorists of a handful of new laws that go into effect in 2009.

"The overall safety of the motoring public is our primary concern," says CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "Not only will these new laws enhance a motorist's safety, many of them are a step toward ridding the roadways of drunk drivers and the tragedy they cause."

Below are the  changes to driving regulations and vehicle equipment.

Texting While Driving (Video)

(SB 28, Simitian) This new law makes it an infraction to write, send, or read text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a cell phone, while driving a motor vehicle. Previously this was only illegal for individuals under 18 years of age, but now has been expanded to all drivers.

Driving Under the Influence: Zero Tolerance (Video)

(AB 1165, Maze) This new law prohibits a convicted DUI offender from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .01 percent or greater while on probation for DUI. The law requires the driver to submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test, a portable breath test to determine the presence of alcohol. If the driver refuses, or if the driver submits and has a BAC of .01 or greater, a citation will be issued, the driver's license will be taken and driving privileges will be suspended. In addition, the vehicle will be impounded.

Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)

(SB 1190, Oropeza) This new law reduces the BAC from .20 percent to .15 percent or more at the time of arrest to trigger a requirement for the court to give heightened consideration for the installation of an IID for a first-time offender convicted of DUI of an alcoholic beverage.

Ignition Interlock Devices

(SB 1388, Torlakson) Effective July 2009, this new law transfers authority for the administration of mandatory IID programs from the state courts to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This law also authorizes the DMV to require any driver convicted of driving with a suspended license due to a prior conviction for DUI to install an IID in any vehicle that the offender owns or operates.

Alcohol-Related Reckless Driving

(AB 2802, Houston) This new law requires the court to order a person convicted of alcohol-related reckless driving to participate in a licensed DUI program for at least nine months, if that person has a prior conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving or DUI within ten years. Additionally, the court is required to revoke the person's probation for the failure to enroll in, participate in, or complete a licensed DUI program.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

(SB 1567, Oropeza) This new law allows a portable GPS device to be mounted in a 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield on the passenger side of the vehicle, or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield on the driver's side. These are the only two locations on a windshield where a GPS device can be mounted. The GPS device can only be used for navigational purposes while the motor vehicle is being operated, and it is required to be mounted outside of an airbag deployment zone.


(AB 2272, Fuentes) This new law changes the definition of a motorcycle by deleting the weight limitation and deleting the separate definition for electrically powered motorcycles. The law will now allow fully enclosed, three-wheeled vehicles to have access to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes regardless of occupancy.

Clean Air Stickers: Misuse and Penalties

(SB 1720, Lowenthal) This new law makes it an infraction for anyone who forges, counterfeits, falsifies, passes, or attempts to pass, acquire possess, sell, or offer for sale a genuine or counterfeit "Clean Air Sticker."

911 Telephone System Abuse

(AB 1976, Benoit) This new law increases the penalties for any person who knowingly uses, or allows the use of, the 911 telephone system for any reason other than an emergency. Those who misuse, or allow the misuse of, the 911 telephone system are guilty of an infraction, and subject to either a written warning or a fine.

Special License Plates

(AB 190, Bass) This new law, when approved by local authorities, allows veterans whose vehicles display plates honoring Pearl Harbor Survivors, Legion of Valor recipients, former American Prisoners of War, Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, or Purple Heart recipients to park their vehicles that weigh not more than 6,000 pounds gross weight, without charge, in any metered parking space.

Studded Pneumatic Tires

(AB 1971, Portantino) This new law allows the use of pneumatic tires with retractable metal-type studs, year round, as long as the studs are retracted between May 1 through October 31. However, the law prohibits a tire with retractable metal-type studs on a vehicle from being worn to a point that the metal-type studs protrude beyond the tire tread when retracted.

Spilling Cargo Loads

(AB 2714, Keene) This new law eases restrictions on cargo loads of straw or hay to allow individual pieces that do not pose a threat to life or property, to escape from bales of straw or hay that are being transported by a vehicle upon a highway, so long as those bales are loaded and secured according to federal regulations.

Assault on Highway Workers

(SB 1509, Lowenthal) This new law provides an increased penalty for assault and battery crimes committed against Caltrans highway workers who are engaged in the performance of their duties. 


If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at [email protected]

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

October 05, 2008

Motorcycle Accidents: Overview, Graphic Videos, Graphic Photos

Motorcycle_v_car_accident Over the years I have represented many, many motorcycle riders who have, through no fault of their own, been involved in accidents with car and truck drivers that, for one reason or another, did not see my client until it was too late.  This emphasizes the fact that motorcyclists must proceed with caution, they must realize that defensive riding is one of the keys to their survival. 

Motorcycle injuries can be devastating.  I've had clients who have suffered broken bones, brain injury and permanent paralysis in motorcycle crashes.  None of these people were at fault yet their lives, and the lives of those that love them, have been unalterably changed for the worse.

In the past, I've blogged extensively about motorcycle accidents, injuries and safety.  Click here to read past posts and view related videos.

At the end of this article, I've posted a couple of graphic motorcycle accident videos as well as the link to a photo album containing graphic photos of motorcycle accidents.  I post these to heighten awareness of the perils the bikers face on the streets. 

Here are a brief list of safety precautions that motorcyclists should take:

  • Know the Law: Be familiar with local laws
  • Be Prepared: Obtain the proper insurance; be aware of adverse road conditions
  • Gear Up: Wear protective gear, helmet, eye protection, sturdy jacket, long pants, boots, gloves
  • Stand Out: Wear brightly colored clothing - make sure that other drivers are aware of you
  • Distance Yourself: Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front or behind you.  Give yourself enough reaction time to adapt to the immediate situation
  • Ride Defensively: 3/4 of all motorcycle accidents involve cars.  Know that although you see them, they may not see you
  • Ride Sober
  • Practice, practice, practice

The following excerpt is taken a comprehensive article on Findlaw.com:

Motorcycle riders are in a unique position on the road. They enjoy the freedoms that come with their chosen form of transportation, but they are also left exposed to dangers not met by automobile drivers and other motorists. The lack of any substantial protective barriers between a motorcycle and the road, as well as the difficulty that other motorists may have in anticipating and seeing a motorcycle, leave riders prone to serious injury in the event of an accident. Motorcycle riders, therefore, must be aware of their legal rights and remedies if they are involved in a traffic accident. The insurance laws in your state may be very different with respect to motorcycles versus automobiles; consequently, it is very important to consult with an attorney regarding the applicable laws in your state.

The Risks of the Road for Motorcycle Riders

The risks that motorcycle riders face, and the need to protect their rights of recovery after an accident, become readily apparent through a review of the following statistics:

  • In two-thirds of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle rider's right of way and caused the accident.
  • Motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to die in a crash than someone riding in a passenger car, and are 5 times as likely to be injured.
  • Per mile traveled in 1998, motorcyclists were about 16 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die, and about 3 times as likely to be injured, in a motor vehicle crash.

Some of the unique problems faced by motorcycle riders on the road include:

  • Visual Recognition: Motorcycles make smaller visual targets, which are more likely to be obscured by other vehicles, or by road and weather conditions. This is an issue especially at intersections, where approximately 70 percent of motorcycle-versus-vehicle collisions occur.
  • Road Hazards: Hazards that are minor irritations for an automobile can be a major hazard for a motorcycle rider. These include potholes, oil slicks, puddles, debris, or other objects on the roadway, ruts, uneven pavement, and railroad tracks.
  • Speed "Wobble" Accidents: Especially at higher speeds, the front end of a motorcycle may become unstable and begin to shake or "wobble." This problem may be due to a misalignment of the front and rear tires of the motorcycle. If an accident is caused by such a high-speed wobble, the manufacturer of the motorcycle might be held financially responsible for any resulting injuries, under a product liability theory.
  • Riding Skills; Familiarity: A motorcycle requires much more skill and physical coordination to operate than a car. Many motorcycle accidents are caused in whole or in part by a rider's lack of basic riding skills, or failure to appreciate the inherent operating characteristics and limitations of the motorcycle.

Click here for Photo Album with Graphic Photos of Motorcycle Accidents, Injuries, Amputations, Scars

View the above photo album and the following graphic videos with caution and think twice when getting on a motorcycle: Prepare well, bike safely and make it a pleasurable experience!

If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at (323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at [email protected]

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

August 19, 2007

Motorcycle Safety: Group Riding Video

Motorcycle_group_riding Another informative video on Group Riding from the The Motorcycle Safety Foundation which is a national, not-for-profit organization that promotes the safety of motorcyclists with programs in rider education and training, operator licensing and public information.

Through these programs, and by advocating a more friendly riding environment, the MSF has aimed to make motorcycling safer and more enjoyable since 1973.

For motorcyclists, the MSF has five key messages:
1) Get trained and licensed
2) Wear protective gear -- all the gear, all the time -- including a helmet manufactured to the standards set by the DOT
3) Ride unimpaired by alcohol or other drugs
4) Ride within your own skill limits
5) Be a lifelong learner by taking refresher rider courses.

Visit their website www.msf-usa.org for information on hands-on training courses, safety tips, and more.

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger represents injury victims.  Free consultation. 

Please contact Attorney Lowell Steiger by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (323) 852-1100.


Treated With the Respect That You Deserve

Motorcycle Safety Training to Brake and Circle Drive Video

Motorcycle_safety_braking Watch this Motorcycle Safety Training to Brake and Circle Drive Video.  It's interesting and informative and from Germany. 

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger represents injury victims.  Free consultation. 

Please contact Attorney Lowell Steiger by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (323) 852-1100.


Treated With the Respect That You Deserve

August 08, 2007

Welcome to the Ride: Motorcycle Video

Harleydavidsoncustommotorcycles4Very interesting video, great visuals, commentary all relating to motorcycle riding.  Click here to watch Welcome to the Ride which presents a very positive view of different bikes, designs and the people who ride them.  Courtesy of www.youtube.com

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger represents injury victims.  Free consultation. 

Please contact Attorney Lowell Steiger by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (323) 852-1100.


Treated With the Respect That You Deserve

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